What a Great Halloween Adventure!

Yesterday, my sister, niece, daughter and I all went to Six Flags Great Adventure for a good time. It was packed! The crowd was enormous! Even the Flash pass line had over an hour wait, but we didn’t care. We were there for some outdoor fun. Though we didn’t get on many rides due to the crazy lines, just walking around the amusement park, doing a little trick or treating in the kids’ section and enjoying the atmosphere was enough to put a smile on my daughter’s face. Sometimes, that’s all we need. 🎃😊

All the best,

Tanya

The Crew is Back for Some Boo at the Zoo Fun!

“I’m so excited! We’re all going to be back together again, Mommy!” My daughter said as we got ready this morning. When I informed Quinn that we’ve seen our cousins and her Nana (my mom), she said, yes, but this is the first time since the pandemic that we’ll be together. The last time was actually at Boo at the Zoo in 2019.

After many restrictions and adjusting to the many new norms, I felt a sense of joy knowing that we would finally be reconnecting with our usual crew too. We all came ready in our cool and creative costumes with smiles on our faces, occasionally behind our masks while in large groups, and had a great time trick or treating while strolling along and seeing the animals. There was a chance of not just rain but thunderstorms. Instead, the sun was shining, and it was unseasonably warm. We didn’t even need our sweatshirts and got ice cream to cool off.

I just love seeing Quinn with her cousins having a blast. We both missed these interactions so much and am glad we were able to have fun together this year at one of our favorite Halloween events.

All the best,

Tanya

Back with My Pumpkin and Patching Up a Tradition

We’re officially in fall and October! It’s one of my favorite months to do activities with my family, especially my daughter. Last year, with the COVID restrictions, I broke tradition and headed to the nearest supermarket to pick out our Halloween pumpkins to decorate. Though we both were okay with this deviation from our usual monthly plans, knowing that we would be restoring our tradition and going to a pumpkin patch this year filled us with excitement. We were so happy to have my mom, Quinn’s Nana, accompany us as she’s done since Quinn was a toddler. This was just a another reminder of what we both missed last year to allow us to appreciate it even more this year.

For the past few years, we’ve gone to Shady Brook Farms and enjoyed ourselves, but we decided to try somewhere new, Kohler Farms. While they did not has as many activities, they were about a third of the cost. Also, it was still a fun experience as we enjoyed the sights on the hayride to the pumpkin patch, navigated our way through the corn maze and selected are precious pumpkins to decorate. Then with those savings, we dined at a nearby restaurant afterward and had some well-needed family togetherness.

Of course, I could’ve just stopped by a supermarket or Home Depot to pick up pumpkins again this year and maybe even had saved some money, but the family togetherness, smiles and happy moments with Quinn are totally worth it. Here’s to a great October building fun-filled memories with my family!

Best,

Tanya

Another Happy Halloween with My Daughter

Halloween Over the Years

For the first time in a long time, I failed to post a blog entry for the week. Little did I know, my daughter really looks forward to reading them and let me know early on Monday that she noticed there wasn’t a post. I felt so bad. Last week got away from me, and I was so busy working on her Halloween post that I forgot all about mine. It certainly didn’t leave me feeling like “Wonder Woman.”

Though Halloween was yesterday, the fun of the day’s events were so memorable. Something else just as memorable that has become a tradition, and I hope will remain, is our mother daughter costumes. This year, we were super heroes and even included our puppy Zack. My seven year old is definitely makes me feel like a super hero. She keeps me going, and her words, hugs and smile have a way of making me feel invincible.

All the best,

Tanya

Pumpkin Decorating: A Fun Halloween Tradition

Our wonderfully decorated pumpkins

Since my daughter was a toddler, we’ve been decorating pumpkins together as one of our Halloween activities. I can admit that I may love this tradition the same or even more than she does. This year was a tad different with a COVID 19 restrictions. Though the usual pumpkin patch we visit to select those “perfect” pumpkins was open, we opted to get them from a local store this year.

For the past few years, my mom (her Nana) joined us, and this year my niece (her cousin) joined in on the fun too. Quinn even decided to feature it as her YouTube video post this week and on her blog page, Quinnie’s Fun House.

There’s something soothing yet fun about decorating pumpkins, especially with my family. I’m hoping next year we will return to the pumpkin place, but in the meantime, we have our wonderfully decorated pumpkins to remind us of the fun times associated with Halloween and family togetherness.

All the best,

Tanya

My Wish Has Been Granted! Another Year of Halloween Costume Fun with My Daughter: Aladdin Style!

 

For the past five years, my daughter and I’ve been dressing up for Halloween in “matching” costumes. When Quinn was two, she was Doc McStuffins, and I was Lambie. At three, she was an astronaut, and I was her rocket. At four, she was Snow White, and I was the Evil Queen. Just last year, she was a magical fairy princess, and I was a magical princess mermaid.

This year, we decided on two costumes. The first one, that we wore at Sesame Place and Boot at the Zoo, was dressing up like her American Girl doll, Luciana, which was a lot of fun. Our second set of costumes were inspired by the Aladdin movie. Quinn dressed as Princess Jasmine donning a beautiful fuchsia outfit we purchased at Target in the kids clothing section back in May, not the Halloween costume section, along with a long flowing ponytail with gold clips that we got from Amazon for $19.99. For her footwear, she already had a pair of gold sneakers for comfort.

At first I was going to be Princess Jasmine’s mother, but then Quinn suggested that I dress up as the genie, which I thought was a fantastic idea. Though it was tricky finding the costume, since the genie is a male character, I was able to locate one from Amazon that I really liked. It looked good on me, but was very thin.

So I decided to use my creativity and piece together my own costume. I ordered royal blue harem pants from Amazon for $15.99. They are actually good quality and have a comfortable fit. The light blue wrap shirt also came from Amazon for $15.99 as well, and it is nice enough to wear regular, not just for a costume. Since it is a little thin for this time of the year, I paired it with a royal blue tank top I already had to wear underneath. For the gold wrist cuffs and red satin sash, I actually purchase fabric from Joanne Fabrics and got to work using my sewing machine. Believe or not, it took my less than a half hour to do both. Then, I topped it off with a dark blue ponytail wig I also purchased from Amazon for $22.99 since I figured it would be a bit too much to paint my face and body blue. I actually like the way it looks and find it to be good quality and not like the wigs one might find at a local Halloween or party shop. I can see myself using it for other events in the future.

Having “matching” costumes with my daughter is something we both look forward to and makes one of my wishes come true. It strengthens our mother/daughter bond and puts smiles on both of our faces as we have a great time together. Though Halloween won’t be here for a few days, we’re already looking forward to what we’ll be for next year.

All the best,

Tanya

 

Spending Time with My “Boos” at the Zoo!

At least five Woodys! Plenty of super heroes from Iron Man to Spider Man to Superman, the Incredibles and anyone else you can think of! Plenty of princesses, unicorns and even a family dressed as the characters from Wizard of Oz. No, this wasn’t a costume party but the absolutely fun Halloween event held annually at the Philadelphia Zoo: Boo at the Zoo!

This makes the sixth year that my daughter and I have attended and the second year that we’ve met up with our relatives for some “cousin” fun along with my mother. We arrived at 9am (The zoo opens at 9:30am but allowed members to enter as early a 8:30am), and while the day started off rather chilly, the weather was perfect as the day progressed. The sun was shining the entire time, and we were even able to unbutton our jackets as the light breeze blew. In between seeing the lions, tigers, giraffes and plenty other animals (who were all out and about today), Quinn and her cousins eagerly ran to the different stations to trick or treat for tasty sweets and did different crafts while admiring the costumes of the other children and adults in passing.

Spending time with my extended family, seeing the smiles on the girls’ faces, hearing their laughter and simply feeling their joy truly puts a smile on my face. If you’re looking for a fun and safe event for your child or children and live near Philadelphia, “Boo at the Zoo” is perfect! You get to dress up, get sweet treats, and do fun activities all while seeing animals.

All the best,

Tanya

Mother & Daughter Bond: Observing the Beautiful Relationship of Celestial Bodies

 

“You two look super cute!” a little girl said. “Oh my God! I just love it!” a woman exclaimed.” Another lady with her sons remarked, “I just love your matching celestial dresses! I wish I had a little girl so that we could dress alike too!” Yesterday, my six year old and I went to Sesame Place for the Count’s Halloween Spooktacular with my sister-in-law and nieces. Since my daughter and I both love dressing up for Halloween, we didn’t pass up the opportunity to wear something special for the occasion. We saw a few super heroes, princesses and even PJ Masks characters, but no one was wearing our “special” costumes, which we decided on months ago.

Last year, for Christmas, Quinn got her first American Girl doll, Luciana, who was the girl of the year for 2018 and aspires to be an astronaut. So when I asked her what she wanted to wear, she thought it would be cool if we both dressed up like Luciana and wore celestial dresses and red waist bags.

First, I visited the American Girl website to price the dress and then headed to Amazon where I found a dress for Quinn and me with the combined prices cheaper than the price for one child-sized dress. I even found the red waist bags through Amazon too! We received so many compliments on our matching outfits as Quinn proudly held Luciana in her arms for a few pictures.

The smiles and kind words from strangers made me think of Quinn and me as celestial bodies that people observe in awe and intrigued by our mother/daughter bond. While many more milestones and memorable moments may be light-years away, I am grateful in knowing that the stars aligned for Quinn to be my daughter causing a feeling of hope and happiness that’s totally out of this world!

All the best,

Tanya

What Do You Call a Fairy & and Mermaid? Mommy and Daughter Halloween Fun!

Halloween is such a fun time of year not just for my daughter but for me too. What makes it extra fun is the strengthening of our mommy/daughter bond. Since she was two, she began picking out a costume not just for herself but for me too. She’s been Doc McStuffins, and I’ve been Lambie. When she was three, she was an astronaut, and I was her rocket. Last year, she was Snow White, and I was the Evil Queen. This year, she decided to be a fairy and asked me to be a mermaid with a similar color scheme: purple as her favorite color and blue as my favorite color. I thought to myself, what a great idea! She’s already thinking about next year wanting to be a princess so that I can be her unicorn, and I love it!

I feel like dressing up together, going to parties, special events and trick or treating brings out the best in us both and brings us closer together. Sometimes, life just gets so hectic, and work even gets stressful, so I thank my daughter for allowing me to just have fun and enjoy life as different characters. Here’s to a happy fun-filled Halloween. Time with my daughter is the ultimate treat!

Scary Pancake Fun: Counting Candy Corns

Just about every Friday, my family goes to IHOP, one of my daughter’s favorite restaurants to have breakfast for dinner. This time of year, however, is extra special because the scary pancake face it added to the menu for Halloween. It comes with two miniature Oreo cookies for the eyes, a strawberry for the nose, candy corn for the teeth and whipped cream too.

A couple of weeks ago when the Scary Pancake appeared on the menu, my daughter was very excited to order it but when the pancake and its toppings to create the scary face arrived, Quinn looked intently at the picture then at the container with the candy corn. “Wait a minute! The picture shows seven candy corn and even has some left in the container on the side, but mine only came with five!” she exclaimed.

Ever since my daughter was a baby, she’s always been inquisitive and attentive. As she’s gotten older, I’ve notice how exacting and observant she is, and I love it! I asked, “What would you like to do? Do you want to inform the server?” She shook her head but then whispered to me as she saw him walk by, “Can you tell him please, Mommy?” Upon letting him know my five year old’s observation, he came back with about ten more candy corns, smiled and apologized to Quinn for not bring out the right amount. She was so happy. My husband then jokingly brought to her attention that she now had more than the picture was displaying. So she quickly gobbled up some of the candy corn and then said, “Now it’s the same amount as the picture!”

I love how there are so many opportunities in life for learning experiences. My daughter practiced her counting skills, used some critical thinking and even took the initiative to rectify an error in the amount of her candy corn.

All the best,

Tanya